Donated Detectors Will Help Prevent Carbon Monoxide Poisoning in Communities Where Gas Generator Use is Prevalent
Trenton, NJ – The Christie Administration today thanked fire safety product manufacturer Kidde for donating 5,000 carbon monoxide detectors to storm-impacted New Jersey residents still without electricity. The New Jersey Division of Fire Safety will distribute the CO detectors to fire department chiefs in those areas where power restoration lags behind the rest of the state.
“While we are making significant progress in Hurricane Sandy recovery, we still are seeing the widespread use of generators in those communities that remain without power. This donation of 5,000 carbon monoxide detectors from Kidde will help us prevent CO exposure among residents still dealing with the aftermath of this monumental storm,” said New Jersey Department of Community Affairs (DCA) Commissioner Richard E. Constable, III.
As of November 6, a total of 61 CO exposures related to Hurricane Sandy had been reported to poison centers in New Jersey, according to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Also, carbon monoxide poisoning from generator fumes has claimed at least five lives in New Jersey in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy, according to media reports.
“The Division of Fire Safety and others issued cautions before Hurricane Sandy arrived because, unfortunately, the consequences of using generators improperly can be fatal,” said New Jersey Division of Fire Safety Acting Director and Acting State Fire Marshal William Kramer, Jr. “However, by distributing these CO detectors donated by Kidde in communities still dependent on generators, we gain an edge we did not have before in protecting people from carbon monoxide exposure.”
CO exposures can be prevented by never using a generator within a basement, garage, three-season room, or any enclosed or partially enclosed structure and by positioning generators outdoors and well away from any building (the recommended distance is at least 25 feet).
In addition, it is critical that households use carbon monoxide detectors in their homes. These devices should be placed, at minimum, on each floor of a home, outside of all sleeping areas, and in the basement. The Division of Fire Safety also suggests detectors in each bedroom. If a CO detector’s alarm sounds or if CO poisoning is suspected due to symptoms such as dizziness, headaches and nausea, people should immediately leave the building and dial 911.
Kidde’s donation of CO detectors to the Division of Fire Safety in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy is in addition to the company’s annual involvement in WABC-TV, Channel 7’s Operation 7: Save a Life campaign. As part of the annual campaign, Kidde donates smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors that are then distributed to senior citizens, lower-income residents, and households with children in the television station’s viewing area which includes North Jersey and much of Central Jersey.
The Division of Fire Safety serves as the central fire service agency in New Jersey. The Division is responsible for the development and enforcement of the State Uniform Fire Code, as well as for implementing public education and firefighter training programs.
For more information, log on to http://www.nj.gov/dca/divisions/dfs/ on the DCA website.
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